Firstly apologies, I honestly don’t know where April went! Since the children have gone back to school, it has felt very busy, getting used to new routines, back to the kids activities and finally getting out, out, with friends into lovely, local beer gardens! Plus, we have a lot of birthdays in April!
So, it feels a long time since I was last here. However, there has been a lot going on in the background too with The CCC which is exciting but more on that later (in part 2)!
But first as you will have seen, this is my 100th Blog in just over 2 years on the subject of Creativity and Wellbeing, and I am thrilled to bits that I have never run out of things to say on this fascinating subject! So I thought I would do things a bit differently and create a top 100 list of things I’ve either learned, read, listened to and the many people I have been inspired by which has got me to where I am today.
BUT, this post was getting so long that I’ve decided to split it into 2, over 2 weeks, so that it doesn’t take you all day to read!
So, throughout these 2 Blogs, I’ll include links to previous ones related to that particular topic, so that you can read further on it should you wish to – a kind of celebration of all that I’ve covered so far!
I’ll split the categories into 10 x 10, (5 today and 5 next week) so you can pick up and read whenever at your leisure and easily refer back to the key things you are interested in.
Doing something creative is an act of much needed self-care, something just for you with no other responsibilities, other than to enjoy yourself!
It enables you to drift into the ‘Flow’ state and stop that whirring brain, it’s a form of active meditation and is great for mental wellness and focussing your thoughts on just the activity in front of you
The act of creating gives you a sense of purpose, there’s an end goal, you have something tangible to show for your efforts
Which leads to a sense of achievement that you completed something potentially challenging or a newly learned skill, building pride in your work
It gives you confidence, especially when starting out and unsure of what to try, the more you do it, the more your self-confidence grows
It opens you up to a whole new world of people who enjoy doing the same thing – the vast and interesting creative community. It gives you a sense of belonging to a team of people with similar interests and fosters new relationships
It enables you to learn new skills andbecome more adventurous. Once you’ve worked out one creative skill, it’s more likely that you will go on to try other new creative activities. It’s all about being creatively curious!
You can pass your skills on, sharing what you’ve learned for the benefit of others perhaps through workshops of your own, increasing self-worth, purpose and creating that sense of ‘giving something back’ to your community
Physically it lowers your heart rate and cortisol levels (stress hormone) and releases all the happy hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, making you feel physicallycalm and content, as well as mentally.
Now you know how good it is for you, don’t just take my word for it…there’s a whole range of experts out there, who understand how magical creative living is too.
2 – Top 10 Creative, Creative Business and Wellbeing Podcasts that will inspire you.
Podcasts have become an important habit in my life that never fail to feed my motivation and creative energy. See them as mini pep talks to keep you going, and especially good for dog walks! Below is a good, varied mix of creative artists, creative business coaches, health and wellbeing and interior design too who inspire me each week with their deep and wonderful conversations.
The Creative Ways Podcast – Emma Isaccs from @emmaisaccsdesign – I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Emma last week for the podcast, you can catch the episode here!
Elevate Your Curiosity Podcast – Joanne Griffin (trend expert)
Conversations of Inspiration – Holly Tucker
Dream and Do – Nicola Rae Wickham of @alifemoreinspired
The Great Indoors – Sophie Robinson and Kate Watson Smythe
Creative Women International – Philly Page
Braveheart’s Rising – Lisa Pascoe
Feel Better, Live More – Dr Rangan Chaterjee
On Brand With – Deborah Ogden
Dream and Do – Nicky Raby
There are many more great podcasts I listen to; you can check out more on the Curious Cave page or read more about them here.
3 –The 10 thieves of creativity
I have gone into some of the below in detail before on this Blog, but I will also do another post on this, because these are all huge subjects in themselves. But if you recognise yourself in any of the below traits or thoughts, you are not alone, and there is rarely a perfect road to creative enlightenment without one of these bugbears showing up along the way!
The good news is they can all be pushed aside, ploughed through or kicked into the gutter, with some positive mindset and self-awareness work.
The undeniable truth is your thoughts, are just thoughts.
They are not facts, so it’s all about how you respond to what your pesky mind is telling you, and I know that is easier said than done sometimes, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE, so if you can accept that, you are half-way there and I’ll be discussing this more in future so watch this space.
Procrastination – The act of putting things off / distracting yourself with other less important tasks
Comparisonitis – Comparing yourself with others, believing them to be ‘doing better’ than you
Perfectionism – an endless quest for things to be perfect, rather than done is good enough – which is why I preach Practice makes progress NOT perfection!
What if I fail / embarrass myself – fear of failure and humiliation about the end result or doing things ‘wrong’
Imposter Syndrome – not understanding how you’ve got to where you are today, believing it to be a fluke or that you will get found out eventually!
I’m just scared to try – Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real – there are effective techniques to get around this to stop it holding you back
I feel like creative time is selfish – simple, NO IT ISN’T! By feeding your own needs and embracing some creative self-care it will serve you AND give you more energy to deal with ‘life’ responsibilities
I don’t know where to begin – Then let me help you – click on the LIVES here for ideas!
4 – 10 Ways to prepare well for Creative Time
Book it in, make the time – planning it in means it’s more likely to happen, just as you would with physical exercise, this is your mental self-care progamme!
Find a comfortable space – somewhere relaxing, not in front of a pile of washing up that will just distract you
This is YOUR time – Make sure your lovely family, know that you are busy and are not to be interrupted, nothing destroys creative time more than children yelling ‘Mum, where are my trainers?!’
Set the scene further if you wish, to enhance the experience, play some chilled music, light a candle, whatever gets you in the mood and acts like a creative trigger
What materials do you have? – Even if you only have a pen and a piece of paper, that is the beauty of creativity, you can start with the most basic materials.
Prepare your materials – If painting for example, get everything ready, clean your brushes if they need it, have everything to hand so you don’t have to keep breaking off
Don’t worry about mess – ‘Craftermath’ as I like to call it is the sign of a good time! The ‘mess’ can be cleaned up later, not during the process
Drinks and snacks – Creating can be thirsty work, you can get ‘lost’ long beyond a mealtime, so have drinks and snacks on hand so you don’t have to stop, but do get up and stretch every now and again to avoid aching!
Look for inspiration / prompts – if you find staring at a blank page difficult, go in fully motivated and inspired with pictures from magazines, your own photos, a previous sketch you want to expand upon, or some writing prompts (you can find plenty on Pinterest or via Writers-online)
Ok, everything is in place and you are ready, so Just start…and repeat – consistent creative time is the ultimate goal to feeling all those great benefits above!
5 -10 things you could try right now!
Make a nature display – collect pinecones, leaves, feathers, twigs and find an old glass bottle or vase for a rustic display, check out @silverpebble2for ideas
Write a short story using prompts or write a letter to someone who needs it via Give A Few Words– click for details
Cook / Bake something new, if you’re like me you’ll have plenty recipes still to try in a cookbook you haven’t opened in a while!
Create a 3D picture – with things collected from around the house, let your imagination run wild, see @5ftinffor some colourful inspiration